Your take: Comments on Jesus deniers
Jesus depicted healing a sick child.
April 8th, 2012
09:37 PM ET

Your take: Comments on Jesus deniers

Our story on a small cadre of authors challenging the existence of Jesus Christ drew almost 5,000 comments on Easter Sunday, with some upset that we did the story, others objecting to its publication on Easter, and plenty of others defending the article and the run date and debating the merits and implications of the debate.

Of course, most comments had nothing to do with our story, revolving instead around the debate about legitimacy of religion itself.

A sampling of the criticism:

Easter on CNN

You've gone too far.

While I am an advocate of spiritual exploration – by atheists to disprove or by the faithful to validate – running an article questioning the very core of a religious belief system on a holy day is indelicate, to say the least. Will you question that Muhammad received the word of God, running similar articles during Ramadan? Or on Yom Kippur, draw on conjecture to argue that the Book of Life is for fools?

This is not journalism. This sensationalist pander.


I would like to see if CNN would dare run a story saying that Muhammad was a "myth" on the Muslim' s holiest holidays and that Abraham was a "myth" on the Jewish holidays. Go ahead CNN and give it a try and see what happens.


Every Easter?...I mean why a negative story every Easter?? It has become a running joke.



Many other readers took aim at the critics:


To those who are insulted by this article,

If your faith is so weak that it cannot stand up to being looked at from an objective, historical, evidence based perspective, then this article is the least of your problems.


It is ironic that so many christians are "offended" at a dialogue about religion sponsored by CNN instead of greeting the opportunity to express their views. Perhaps they are shamed that we all know they are surfing the web when they should be worshipping on Easter Sunday.

Others weighed in on the merits and upshot of the debate over Jesus' existence:


I do not doubt that a man named Jesus existed, and that he probably did preach about God. But I believe he was no different than any cult leader today that preaches about their own religious beliefs and gains a small number of followers. The difference with Jesus is that Christianity was already more wide spread, and the general population was very uneducated and easily influenced by a great orator. Do I actually believe their is a God, and Jesus is his son? No. But I'm sure the man existed.


It is actually more reasonable than not to conclude that Jesus was an actual living person. Whether or not he was "the Christ" is the only worthwhile point of debate. Regardless, many of the teachings of Jesus are worthy of people to take to heart whether they are Christians or not. As an agnostic, I take those things that are wise from any and all religions, and leave behind those things that are destructive.


I don't care whether he really existed or not. It's his story that never happened, at least the son of god part and dieing and coming back to life stuff. What matters to Christians is that he is a support system that is able to take the blame for all the bad stuff in your life so that you can move past them and continue living.

I was thinking about it the other day, and I think Jesus really is a great thing, because it allows people to psychologically take pressure, grief or guilt and remove the effects of anxiety and pressure that those feelings create. On the flipside it possible allows someone to conjure up Love by themselves.

I think Jesus is a psychological whipping boy for all things that people don't have or can't (don't want to?) deal with. So I think atheists and non-Christians (heck, maybe Christians themselves) are missing the point about the importance of Jesus to some people.

The Twitter conversation over the article was mostly complimentary:


Interesting debate from CNN's site about whether or not Jesus was a real person: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/?hpt=hp_c1


CNN asks: Did Jesus exist? http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/?hpt=hp_c2 Honestly, this is a topic I don't know much about. I'd like to learn more.


CNN interviews two Thoughtful Christian authors for this intriguing question–Craig A. Evans... http://fb.me/1idvhPxXD

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Easter • Jesus

soundoff (2,443 Responses)
  1. Holden Caulfield

    I can't be the only one here who sees some irony in the apoplexy some Christians have expressed in the comments. It's offensive to question the core beliefs of their religion – (somehow especially so at Easter) – but being a Christian in 2012 also enables a person to use their religious freedom to openly condemn others who don't share it, regardless of what time of year it is, and that's perfectly appropriate?

    How does Christianity simultaneously embody outrage towards any who don't fall to their knees and respect their beliefs, but they fail to understand at the most basic levels of human interaction how the very presumption of Jesus and "G"od is an affront to everybody else?

    How do Christians expect religious freedom to practice their religion as they see fit, while at the same time they seem unable to comprehend that the very act of practicing that faith in so many ways is an open declaration that they think everyone else's views are worthy of their contempt, derision, ridicule – and sanctimonious preaching...

    It's the religions here who fail to grasp what freedom of thought, freedom of expression means; they only want it for themselves – everyone else – (and there are examples in the comments, if you're honest) that everyone else is going to "H"ell....

    April 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      I suppose the dirty truth is that if they KNEW what they believed was true, they couldn't be offended. Instead, they NEED it to be true and make it a part of their personal identi.ty—so when you attack religion, you are attacking them personally. If someone writes an article about how gravity doesn't really exist, I'm not going to take it personally because I KNOW it exists. These kinds of responses say more about the stability of the religion than I think these people realize.

      April 12, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  2. Charles Yopst

    To paraphrase Frederich Buechner, If Jesus was a real person, then nothing else matters. If Jesus was not a real person, then nothing else matters.

    April 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  3. bhigh

    I believe that someone like Jesus existed, but not that he is divine in any way, or is the son of god (which I definitely do NOT beleive in).

    April 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  4. Set271

    rbsrs is right! every (christian)religious holiday there's some form of question of some aspect of Christianity, which over time erodes beliefs' just enough, to turn more and more people away from their faith. and they're good at it, they've been controlling the media in America for a very long time. If questioned they fall back on freedom of speach or portray it as an attack by radicals and quickly labeling them as any manner of demonizing-phrases designed to distract from the very control they have over public opinion.

    edeveryday has a point! Where's the questions about Judaism and Islam? On their days of religious practices where's the questions? Those two religions are so protective and racist the mere hint of a question brings either a murderous rage of killing of innocents or cries of Antisemitism and we all know how effective they've made that.

    Media! Leave Christianity to the Christians. The other two major religions will destroy each other eventually, leave Christ out of that war.

    April 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  5. jabby

    Do not men judge between good and evil? Have not hundreds of millions been destroyed in senseless wars? Therefore, God, in Christ, promises eternal life on a paradise earth to as many as believe and judge themselves worthy of this priceless gift.

    April 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  6. Mike from Toronto Kanada

    ..."No one knows if this Jesus Christ existed, and if he did, NOTHING is known about him!" Bertrand Russell 1928

    April 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • just sayin

      No one knows if this bertrand russel existed and if he did who cares. God bless

      April 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • just sayin

      Comment posted April 12, in the year of our Lord 2012. God bless

      April 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      What day is it by the Jewish or Chinese calendars, JS?

      April 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • just sayin

      I am neither Jewish nor Chinese but both those societies and peoples are aware of our calendar as the majority of the world operates under it. In the year of our Lord ! God bless

      April 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • C'mon

      @jester sayin,

      So there was no "Lord" before 00? Who's that sp.ooky guy with Moses 'n them...?

      April 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • just sayin

      There has always been a Lord. Before Christ? Isn't that commonly called B. C. ? God bless

      April 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  7. Pete Coste

    If you believe in an all-powerful god of any sort, then you have to acknowledge that your deity either directly causes natural disasters, or else just doesn't care enough to stop them. The most commonly expressed belief for a god directly causing disasters is as punishment to one group or to make another group grateful for being spared. Any of these options indicates a being which is not worthy of any kind of praise; those are the acts of a cruel and immature child.

    April 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Deist

      You bring up an interesting point. As a Deist, I believe God exists based on the designs and laws of Nature. I don't pretend to know more than that. Regarding natural disasters, illnesses, etc., I think, and it's simply my opinion, that Nature is set-up for progress. I believe it was Henry Thoreau who wrote about the "steady progress of the Universe." We want comfort much more than we want progress. Therefore the idea people have developed about God is more along those lines of comfort and God preventing us from experiencing struggle. The reality of Nature, however, is more about progress through struggle which is key to evolution. And evolution is progress. If continuation of our existence after our body dies is part of the Designer's designs, then, perhaps, we will learn more about why there is so much struggle from microscopic levels (white blood cells killing viruses, etc.) through organisms such as people fighting people, etc.

      Progress! Bob Johnson

      April 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Blake

      To think that an all powerful diety would sit back and watch his son being tortured and murdered by mere mortals is crazy. Remember Apollo, Zeus and Posiedon? They were gods too and uneducated people worshiped them., but where are they now? We even named our planets after them, hows that for blasfamy? Shouldn't we have named them after the Bible folks? The Bible was written by man after generations had passed; these stories were told from memory (or halucinations). Then man translated it under a dictorial monarchy. Everything in there has been so twisted over time I'd be surprised to find anything accurate in it.

      April 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  8. Chad

    What's interesting to me is that "Jesus deniers" actually exist..
    They have a world view that requires them to deny historical facts.. it really is similar to holocaust denial.

    April 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • WASP

      What's interesting to me is that "Jesus deniers" actually exist..
      They have a world view that requires them to deny historical facts.. it really is similar to holocaust denial."

      see the difference between jesus and the holocaust is we have first hand statements, survivors, pictures, and video. we have german soldiers that were tried for "crimes against humanity" we have the concentration camps that people visit we have mounds of physical evidence that can't be fabricated.....what do you have? a shroud that was carbon dated to the middle ages, a book that is inconsistant and put together by humans, so thus flawed. so i would say you don't have a leg to stand on at this moment.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Let's not forget that there are no contemporary accounts of Jesus, despite the fact that the Romans were avid record keepers. Even the oldest accounts of his life were written a generation or two after his reported death.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • just sayin

      There are very few Roman records by comparison after 2000 years and even less for Jerusalem which was totally pillaged in 70 A.D. as prophesied by .... Jesus ! God bless

      April 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • tallulah13

      There were certainly enough records left to show that the events surrounding the biblical version of christ's birth were completely bogus. I'd love to stay and chat, but I'm off to work.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • WASP

      @just sayin': you're telling me that "jesus" foretold the pillage of his home country and didn't do anything to stop it? how about telling his people to hide his docu.ments so afterward they could be retrieved? so for an all powerful demi-god, he pretty much dropped the ball on everything. no wonder the muslims and the jews just think of him as a human prophet.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @WASP "see the difference between jesus and the holocaust is we have first hand statements, survivors, pictures, and video. we have german soldiers that were tried for "crimes against humanity" we have the concentration camps that people visit we have mounds of physical evidence that can't be fabricated"

      @Chad "we have all of that for Jesus Christ as well (except video).. that doesnt stop the Jesus deniers, just as it doesnt stop the holocaust deniers.. "

      @tallulah13 "Let's not forget that there are no contemporary accounts of Jesus, despite the fact that the Romans were avid record keepers"

      Lucian (circa 120-after 180) Greek writer and rhetorician.
      "The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account..."

      Thallus (AD 52,)
      "On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun."

      Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian)
      "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular."

      The Talmud
      "On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf." But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!"

      Pliny the Younger governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. AD 112.
      "They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food but food of an ordinary and innocent kind."

      Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?)
      "Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done."

      April 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  9. Judith

    From what I've learned about the nature of Jesus Christ, he's unlikely to be upset. Perhaps Jesus would be more concerned about our lack of respect for each other and the planet - and the ease with which we are manipulated by media that prefers to inflame rather than inform. BTW, does anyone remember the 'controversial' cover of The New Yorker some years ago around Easter? The magazine's new management was looking to modernize its image and attract new audience. Anyway, the cover showed a crucified rabbit dressed in a suit with various IRS tax forms hanging from every pocket.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  10. chuck

    The Lord doesn't get concerned with this petty verbage. His Word, the bible, makes it clear what he watches daily.....souls,.....what He died for 2000 years ago.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  11. jabby

    Apart from the earth, God's universe is perfect. And God has given us the perfect religion in Christ that we might love our enemies and not kill them as men and nations and man-made religions have done for thousands of years. God's Kingdom will restore men, nations, and the heavens and the earth to their original glory.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • WASP

      @jabby:"Apart from the earth, God's universe is perfect. And God has given us the perfect religion in Christ that we might love our enemies and not kill them as men and nations and man-made religions have done for thousands of years. God's Kingdom will restore men, nations, and the heavens and the earth to their original glory."

      ummm so you're forgetting the whole crusades and all that stuff? lmao how many times in your bible does god order the killing or sacrifice of human life? let's not forget if you don't worship him you will spend eternity burning in hell........yeah great guy.....for a dictator.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  12. Ryan Rodio

    "ANGRY AT CNN!!!


    Such love shown by that Christian.
    I don't think CNN would have the balls to run a story about Mohammed during Ramadan.
    I have no issue with the article that was printed but think that singling out one religion is ridiculous.
    Come on CNN, prove everyone wrong and throw up an article about the Muslim faith on one of their Holy Days.

    Nah, you won't do that.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • WASP

      @ryan: seriously? you're that angry, then why don't you call up there number and complain.....or a better idea, DON'T READ THE ARTICULE. no one forced you to click on the OPINION section of their site and scroll through the BELIEF section. so no sympothy.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • tacc2

      CNN, if you read this, THANK YOU for calling people out on their irrational beliefs!

      April 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Know What

      Ryan Rodio,

      I guess you missed these articles from last August's Ramadan. There was plenty of debate about their practices/beliefs. Pay attention... or shut it.


      (there are more... I just got tired of copy/pasting links.)

      April 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • just sayin

      Sounds like you go tyour myth in a bunch. Somebody is insecure about thier baby Jesus. Don't worry because your big bad God will set it straight. Now go back to your cave and get on your knees for your God.

      April 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  13. Tom French

    If you were God and you created a world and people to see if they would love you or not wouldn't you stay pretty much out of the picture to allow them to exercise their freedom to choose? Why do we want to always have Him to show himself to us all the time so that we can believe? It is called faith.

    Whether or not you accept Jesus as being real or not does not change anything. It will however affect what happens after your life is over or when He returns. To those of us who have accepted Him He is very real because we have had prayers answered that those of you who do not accept can not understand.

    You may say that those answers would have happened anyway but you can not explain away incidents that have happened to people such as the time my mother told about how she started across the street but she felt something preventing her from stepping out into the path of an oncoming car that would have run her down if she had stepped out yet there was nothing visible there.

    Too many people put too much credit on chance but is it really? Could it have been chance that when you started to get into your car to leave and it would not start right away even though it had been reliable to start every time before and even after when you came upon an accident scene that had just happened before you got there? Or what about the time you suddenly felt that you go somewhere right now or do something in particular and you discovered that it was extremely important to you or someone else that you did just that? Many say that is just chance but in your mind you know better.

    Many people believe in something but they refuse to believe in Jesus or Christianity but what is the difference? There is none. People believe that we have come into existence purely on chance but when you stop to really look at yourself and all the different things in your body and how each works to keep you alive and functioning did these really just happen and why would they have?

    April 12, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  14. John Wright

    Is CNN Atheistic? Is that the assumption one is to get from the article. I don’t know why this is important to you. Do you fear GOD and therefore Jesus? Do Not fear him for is the living God and the Sprit. Jesus is the only way to God and he died for you also. I pray that you will come to him and know his peace. He is my savior and Lord. He is the way and the light. No one comes to god unless he believes and the non believer will never understand nor believe. Why do you do this? Because the devil and his legions have led you . Repent and be saved Turn to Jesus and he will save you.

    April 12, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • WASP

      @john: so out of the three prodominate religions on this planet, yours is the correct one? two of the "god" faiths don't even recognize jesus as anything more than a prophet. you have lutheran, baptist, holiness, pentcostal, methodist those don't even preach on the same thing and they all use the same book. lmfao.

      April 12, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  15. jabby

    Before He created the world, God chose Jesus as the Way for all people and nations, Jews and Gentiles, to worship Him. All wo/men have the liberty to either choose to worship God His Way, through faith in Christ, or, to go to hell. It is finished.

    April 12, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • WASP

      @jabby: let's see eternal torture or worship the guy threatening you with eternal torture........hmmm sounds like the choice you get from a power hungry tyrant.

      April 12, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  16. dilberth

    This video should be of great interest to all Christians and those who are questioning their faith. Enjoy.


    April 12, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Mike from CT

      "people don't like to be told that their religion crock of delusion garbabge a forceful evil, and a straight jacket on the whole of humanity"

      That is correct, since history disproves the rest of this statement. Nobody likes to be lied to.
      Question if religion is the forceful evil in the world, why is there still evil in non-religious regions and times in the world?

      It is also funny that people say you must suspend critical thinking because of faith, but Paul begs the reader of Romans to use critical thinking. So again a video full of false assumptions with no context to back each claim. It would take a lot of blind faith to believe this video has a point.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  17. BobLo Fats

    Typically ignorant, the media has decided to bash Christendom on it's holiest day. Pity they don't do the same for the Muslims on Ramadan. Then we wouldn't have them around anymore to complain about. Might someday even dawn on these critics that this whole Christ thing they're so upset about is also the guiding light for all their technological, medical, and philosophical advances in the last 500 years. Their whole social welfare scheme is nothing more that Christian generosity and charity being mismanaged by corrupticians and corruptocrats.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  18. PeteSRQ

    CNN spends so much energy for nonsense. I stop watching CNN year and years ago. I spent most of my life under the communist dictatorship. I am sick and tired of media, which plays by the orders form above. CNN was a good place to watch the news during the first war in Persian Gulf. Then they become like the soviet newspaper Pravda – only the official line of the news but not the news as they are. The same happened with BBC. Don't wonder why the auditory of this stations shrinks every year. If it is about religion – CNN has chosen to offend the feelings of the Christians but also it is also spreading anti Jewish propaganda. Some day we may find there is no difference between Al Jazeera and CNN?

    April 12, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Carol

      The fact that you are allowed to freely post what you did blows away the claims of your post. Find some courage, and enjoy and defend the freedoms that you now have, you whinging wimp.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • AFD

      Yet here you are, responding to CNN.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 12, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Avoid fake Jesus posts as they are not worth the effort to read

      April 12, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Jesus

      ~Prayer doesn’t not change anyting; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ~,~ `~`

      April 12, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Jesus

      "Avoid fake Jesus posts as they are not worth the effort to read"

      More lies and desperation proving my posts are correct.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Carol

      Pretty much everything about Jesus is fake, so someone claiming his name is free to say what they want.

      And you have to ask (if you have a brain) why a "god" can't do better than a publicity stunt every few thousand years or so. (Natural disasters don't count, unless you admit that you're god is an ass-hole.)

      April 12, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Mike from CT

      "The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. "

      No it does not, again and again you have been given the wikipedia reference. If you do not believe the reference please provide one of your own.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • just sayin

      Fake Jesus seeks attention not Truth. God bless

      April 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • kingkong49

      A study was done this past year looking at the beneficial power of prayer. You can find the study. The short version is that sick individuals who were prayer for fared worse than those who weren't. The folks who did the absolute worse were the ones who were prayed for and didn't know they were being prayed for. Poor people.

      April 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • tacc2

      You do know that the power of prayer has been disproved in controlled scientific experiments right?

      April 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  20. Henry Keith Noble

    The cross is foolishness to those that never have meet him ,if you never meet him (Jesus) you will one day, then he will say to you depart from me, ( you ) that work EVIL,-– JESUS- is my lord and savior,king of kings,lord of lords,he is the only way to know GOD.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • old

      it seems no one has ever met jesus, and i am sure no one ever will. i don't work evil, i present a different viewpoint.

      April 12, 2012 at 9:02 am |
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